Mom drowns holding son above water after he fell in lake: 'She was an amazing mother'

A Colorado mother died saving her son after the selfless woman jumped into a lake to rescue the little boy, drowning as she held him on her chest above the water, authorities said.

Chelsey Russell, of Lakewood, was with her family aboard a houseboat on Lake Powell in Utah when her 2-year-old son fell into the water at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, the San Juan County Sheriff's Office said.

Russell, 33, jumped right into the water to save her son. Neither was wearing life jackets, officials said.

"A significant distance developed between the mother and child and the houseboat before the houseboat could be shut down," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

A family member untied a smaller boat that was being towed behind the houseboat and rushed back to the pair before they were completely under water.

Russell's little boy was conscious, but the mother was not responding when she was pulled from the water, authorities said.

Efforts to revive the woman with CPR were not successful, and Russell was pronounced dead.

The child was flown by medical helicopter to an Arizona hospital and later released.

Russell was an attorney focused on mineral title examination, business transactions and regulatory matters before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

The Denver native and marathon enthusiast was an associate at Welborn, Sullivan, Meck & Tooley, where colleagues were mourning the loss of such an amazing woman Friday.

"Chelsey was an amazing mother, an exceptional legal talent, an extraordinary athlete, a loyal and generous friend, and left us all better for knowing her. She is sorely missed," the firm wrote on its website.